Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Dewey decimal pi

Shelving up in non fiction today I found an abandoned book, American Drawings and Watercolors from the Wadsworth Atheneum. It's a nice, if perhaps slightly less than spectacular, collection of art. I really like Arthur G. Dove, but I don't get excited.

But they don't pay me the big bucks to look at the books. I'm here to shelve, at least for this hour. So I checked out the ol' Dewey Decimal number on American Drawings and Watercolors, and that's where this book really came into its own.

The Dewey Decimal number for American Drawings and Watercolors is

741.97307401463 A51

It is an awesome spectacle of a Dewey Decimal number! It is a giant among Dewey Decimal numbers!

One thing that particularly enchants me about this number is how, when I shelved it, there were no other books that went beyond 741.973. The eight further digits of 07401463 on the label of American Drawings and Watercolors are entirely for the peacock finery of the thing, the Dewey Decimal system flexing its muscles.

I showed the book to my co-worker who was shelving nearby and who fully appreciated its grandeur. Then I shelved the book. But I wrote down the whole giant Dewey number and have since commenced to memorize it.

Now I just wait. It may be for five years. It may be forever. But one day, if I am very lucky, a patron is going to come to me at the desk and ask "Do you have any books of collections of American drawings and watercolors?" 

"Yes we do." I will answer dryly. "They should be upstairs in the general area of 741.97307401463. Do you need me to write that down?"

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